Mos Generator Announce Spontaneous Combustions Release Details

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

Comprised of four songs pressed up under the banner of Kozmik Artifactz, the next Mos Generator LP will be a collection of jams titled Spontaneous Combustions. It’s the band’s second outing of 2019 behind the Night of the Lords live album (discussed here) and it follows their 2018 studio offering, Shadowlands (review here), which likewise found the Tony Reed-fronted trio pushing into new avenues of progressive expression. That’s kind of Mos Generator‘s thing at this point, and while the core of the band remains in their foundation of songwriting, they’ve particularly over the last few years taken on a willingness to go places they haven’t before. It suits them.

This release was initially discussed here last month in an interview with Reed, and as you can see in that piece, it’s far from the only thing going on in that camp.

Still, here are the details as posted on thee social medias:

mos generator spontaneous combustions

We have a new album coming out on Kozmik Artifactz later this year. Here’s a few words about it and a work in progress mock up of the cover.

Mos Generator “Spontaneous Combustions”.

Production notes:
With a working title of “rental jams”, the idea to do these recordings came from the fact that long time tenants had moved out of our rental house and it was empty for a while before the next ones would move in. We had a one day window to work with, which meant we had to record as much improvised material as possible and also have a proper rehearsal to prepare for the U.S. tour that was starting the next day. To make things as easy as possible, I recorded using only an eight track machine with a very minimal microphone setup. All music had to be captured live with mistakes and all. I would be able to add additional instruments to what we did but would not be able to take away anything that was recorded live. Three of the four songs recorded that day were written at the moment they were recorded. “Who Goes There” was conceived and partially recorded about a year earlier and finished up during these sessions. Although we use this technique to do demos, we have never made a complete record of freeform jams.

Reed – August 2019

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Mos Generator, Night of the Lords (2019)

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Six Dumb Questions with Tony Reed of Mos Generator

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on July 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

tony reed

The mantle of being the hardest working person in show business has been worn by many over the last century-plus, perhaps most notably James Brown, but if we’re talking about heavy rock and roll, Port Orchard, Washington’s Tony Reed makes a strong case for himself. The frontman of the long-running Mos Generator is also near ubiquitous in his studio work on the production side, recording, mixing and mastering bands far and wide. He’s taking part alongside Bob Balch of Fu Manchu and Gary Arce of Yawning Man in the reincarnated Big Scenic Nowhere, and he’s just recorded the first Saint Vitus LP to feature Scott Reagers in over two decades. In August, he’ll tour for the second time in Europe playing bass for Melbourne’s Seedy Jeezus, whom he’s also recorded.

Oh, and for having what he calls a “mellow year,” Mos Generator have already released a hand-assembled live album through Devil’s Child Records and have a collection of studio jams on the way through Kozmik Artifactz. Reed is also learning to cut his own records, so expect much more to come. Like maybe that country rock project he’s got, Hot Spring Water! They’d be perfect for a cut 12″. He’s also been kicking around doing some reunion shows with Twelve Thirty Dreamtime, his band before Mos.

Clearly the man cannot be stopped.

Reed sent a raven recently with details on all of the above and a bunch more and, frankly, it was staggering. I didn’t even know where to start, but we went back and forth and what made the most sense to me was to get an interview together — as always, it took me forever to actually write out the questions — and give him the chance to talk about what’s going on with each of these things, say what he can say at this point and roll like that. With so much going on, some he can talk about and some he can’t, it was really the only way. Expect more news on a lot of this stuff as it continues to develop — the Big Scenic Nowhere LP, the Mos Generator jams release, record cutting, etc. — but the point is that, in all seriousness and all sincerity, I find Reed‘s singular level of passion to be deeply inspiring. He is relentlessly creative, and he doesn’t know how else to be. That kind of person is rare and with the consistent level of his output across such a wide variety of contexts, it’s only all the more impressive.

He talks about Mos Generator touring Australia with The Atomic Bitchwax early next year. I look forward to inviting myself on that run. I’d write a whole book about it.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

Six Dumb Questions with Tony Reed

First up, what’s up with Mos Generator for the rest of this year?

It’s been a pretty mellow year for the band. We’ve spent a lot of time on the road over the last four years and thought we would kick back for a bit. It looks like we will only play four shows this year. Two of them are with Red Fang and Clutch so we will be able to reach a new audience with the touring. Early 2020 we will be going over to Australia to tour with The Atomic Bitchwax. We’ve been out with them before so that was great news to hear we would be doing our first Aus tour with them.

In May Devil’s Child Records released a live album called Night of the Lords recorded in Manchester, England, in 2017 and later this year, Kozmik Artifactz out of Germany will release an album of freeform jams called Spontaneous Combustions. I just submitted the masters so hopefully it will be out by Fall. Like The Firmament and Lies of Liberty, Spontaneous Combustions is very different from our usual studio albums. I really enjoy adding new textures to the band and although we usually do a freeform jam section in our live shows, this is a whole album of them. All recorded in a six-hour time period.

You’re involved with Bob Balch and Gary Arce’s Big Scenic Nowhere project. You toured with Fu Manchu of course, and Gary is Gary, but how did you end up getting involved there, and will you continue to be a member of that band?

Bob contacted me to work on a song with him and I’m pretty sure it was a mix of touring with Fu Manchu and my contributions to his site PlayThisRiff that gave him the idea to contact me. We got along well on the road and we both work very hard at our craft.

After I finished the first song he just started sending more to see if I was inspired. I ended up doing vocals on quite a bit of the songs across the EP and the full-length. I also added Mellotron and synths to a few songs. A song I wrote has me on drums/vocals, Bob on guitar and my son Kylen on bass. How cool is that?

Bob, Gary and I have been talking about being the core lineup and continue to have guests come in. There are some really cool musicians playing on this that I am totally honored to be associated with. I’ve also started to call on people I know and respect to participate and everybody has been really cool. Musically there doesn’t seem to be any boundaries and that is great.

You’re also playing bass on tour again with Seedy Jeezus in Europe. How was that experience last time and how does being in the band differ from recording them?

I really enjoy hanging out with Lex and Mark. They know each other so well. They will have these massive blowup arguments that you feel might end the tour and right at its zenith, then it will be like ,“so where are we gonna eat mate?” like nothing ever happened. Total entertainment. I’ve got some great audio and video clips on my phone.

After recording two albums with them and doing the tour last year I feel like I’m part of the band. It was like that from the first time we met. Easy to get along with. I’ll be back over there to record the next Seedy full-length right before the Mos boys fly over for the tour.

You recorded Saint Vitus’ new self-titled album. What was it like having them in the studio again? Did you get Dave Chandler to put any mids in his guitar this time?

They were less prepared this time but everybody really worked to make a great album that ended having classic Vitus elements and some new textures. Henry and Pat both contributed to the writing so that gave the album some diversity while still sitting in the spot the fans are used to. Also, Reagers is a stud. Great vocalist and one of the nicest dudes you’ll ever meet. Always positive and professional without being too serious. Chandler kept his classic EQ settings. :)

Tell me about the record cutting project.

Well… my buddy Jeremy Deede brought up the idea of buying a record lathe. We found a guy in Germany that builds them so we contacted him and he told us he won’t sell it to us if we don’t take the class so I flew over to Germany a few weeks ago and took the 15-hour one day crash course in record cutting. I did get to bring home my first few attempts at it and they sounded better than I thought they would. We should have the machine and a whole bunch of blanks next week and I’ll start to get grip on making some nice cuts. After I get comfortable with it we are going to launch a site where people can have one-off records cut. Needless to say I’ll be making records of everything I ever wanted on vinyl. Exciting stuff!!!

What keeps you going, Tony? Every year you seem to have your hand in so much and so much going on. What is it that lets you do that? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff happening at any given time?

I discovered that I had musical ability when I was around 12 and ever since then I pretty much haven’t stopped. I’ve written and recorded more music than I can even remember. I’ve been going through 40 years of tapes and other recorded media that I am cataloging and saving and I’m finding so much music I forgot I even made. From ideas recorded on a boombox in 1985 to complete songs from even just a few years ago. When I think about how much time I’ve spent next to some kind of recording device with a guitar in my hand or behind a drum kit it’s staggering. I have so many musical endeavors going on (including my job) that it is sometimes hard to finish stuff. My dry erase board in the studio always has scribblings all over it. I like it that way. Leaving a legacy has always been important to me and that along with not knowing, and not wanting to know, anything else in life is what keeps me going. I’ve always been very prolific. I often wonder if that will ever disappear.

Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

I’m putting a lot of time into a project called Hot Spring Water. It’s a country rock project in the style of early ’70s artists like Leon Russell, Graham Nash and Neil Young. Mykey and Mike were the rhythm section from Stone Axe and we actually started this project in 2011. A few months ago we added Bo Mcconaghie on guitar with me and started rehearsing for shows. We’ve played two shows and they have been really fun. It’s so much different than Mos Generator. Bo and I use six watt Fender Champ amplifiers so we have a six watt ceiling for live volume. It’s great! people can enjoy the show without getting their ears blasted. It’s also challenging because playing that clean and quite means your can hear every mistake. Challenges are good.

Tony Reed, Assembling Night of the Lords

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Mos Generator Announce Night of the Lords Bootleg-Style Live Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

I love bootlegs. I really do. I’ve got a bunch of old bootleg CDs and a couple LPs that I absolutely think of as treasure. Traditionally, bootlegs pretty much rip off the artist in question, but there’s no doubt that there are some bootlegs out there — looking at you, HendrixBeatles, etc. — that are as classic as any proper studio album. Black Sabbath at Asbury Park 1975? Shit, it’s the best live record they never bothered to release.

Given that Mos Generator do so much with a classic heavy rock influence, it makes sense they’d be the first in a new series of bootleg-style outings from Devil’s Child Records. Legally speaking, it all seems to be on the up and up — Tony Reed mixed and mastered, so it ought to be — which is nice, but the numbers available are limited and it’s a live recording from their UK tour in 2017, so maybe a fan-piece, but screw it, I’m a fan. Check out “Breaker” streaming at the bottom of this post, to get a sample of what it’s all about.

Info from the PR wire:

mos generator night of the lords

MOS GENERATOR New Live Album ‘NIGHT OF THE LORDS’ (Manchester UK, October 4th 2017) via DEVIL’S CHILD RECORDS On May 3rd

Port Orchard, Washington’s MOS GENERATOR spent most of 2016 and 2017 on tour supporting their ‘Abyssinia’ album. During a special night on the tail end of the tour, an entire set was recorded at Rebellion, in Manchester England on October 4th, 2017.

Mixed and mastered at his HeavyHead Recording Company in January 2019, Tony Reed, guitarist and vocalist for MOS GENERATOR, tells the tale:

“Many months after the European leg of the Abyssinia Tour was over, I was cleaning out my guitar case and found a flash drive that I had forgotten about. Upon inspection, I realized it was a complete multi-tracked live performance, date and city unknown. After listening to some of the banter in between songs, I figured out that it was from Manchester, England. I distinctly remembered that show, because we played a Mahavishnu Orchestra/King Crimson medley that night and I think we only ever played it live three or four times.

That wasn’t the only interesting addition to the set list that night – “Easy Evil” was also a rarity in the set, along with the opener “Strangest Times.” “Shadowlands” (title track of the future 2018 album) was performed at the show as well, and we rarely played new songs before they were recorded and released. All in all, it was a blazing set that focused mainly on songs from ‘Abyssinia’, but also included a well-rounded collection of songs from our previous albums.

The album title is a play on “Day of the Lords”, a song by the band Joy Division from Manchester, England. The cover of this official “bootleg” release is a tribute to many of the unofficial records I have from the 70s on infamous labels like Trademark of Quality, The Amazing Kornyfone Record Label (TAKRL), and Wizardo. In the early days of bootleg vinyl, they just glued a photo copied piece of paper on a white jacket and called it good. The inspiration for this layout came from a David Bowie bootleg called “His Master’s Voice”, one of the first bootlegs I ever owned.

Most of the time when I (rarely) listen back to live recordings of the band, I find myself remembering our performance as being better in my head than it actually was. That is not the case with this show. The set list, energy, performance and the right amount of risk-taking make this a show we are excited is getting released.” – TR

‘Night Of The Lords’ Tracklist:

Side One:
Strangest Times
Lonely One Kenobi
Shadowlands
Easy Evil
There’s No Return From Nowhere
Dance of Maya / Red

Side Two:
Breaker
On The Eve
Catspaw
Step Up/Jam
Electric Mountain Majesty

Mos Generator’s ‘Night Of The Lords’ live album, the first release in the Devil’s Child Records ‘Bootleg Series’, was created in true bootleg fashion. Pure rock music captured in a live recording, issued in a limited run of 100 copies on black vinyl. Each record is hand-numbered with either a yellow or blue photo cover on primarily a hand-assembled package. A few test presses will also be available on release date. There are no pre-orders.

‘Night Of The Lords’ will be available on May 3, 2019, from Devil’s Child Records: https://devilschildrecords.bigcartel.com/

A few words from Rachel Williams, Overlord at Devil’s Child Records:

“Devil’s Child Records is elated to present the first record in our new ‘Bootleg Series’, Mos Generator, ‘Night of the Lords’. Bootleg records were created as a rebellious act of defiance all for the love of music. This series is all about our love of music, and pays a unique homage to the bootleg recordings from the 1970’s.

We are excited to be working with Mos Generator again for this release, with special thanks to Tony Reed in helping shape an idea into a reality for the Devil’s Child Bootleg Series.”

MOS GENERATOR are:
Sean Booth – Bass
Tony Reed – Guitar, Vocals, Other Instruments
Jono Garrett – Drums

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Mos Generator, “Breaker” from Night of the Lords (2019)

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Mos Generator Announce Sept./Oct. Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

Got a record, got a tour. Washington-based heavy rockers Mos Generator continue their road-dogging ways in support of their 2018 album, Shadowlands (review here). Issued through Listenable Records, its take on the band’s trademark straightforward, classic style leans a little bit darker and a little bit more progressive than it has in the past, but Mos Generator are still Mos Generator beneath it all, and with stops along the way at Descendants of Crom in Pittsburgh and Doom and Stoned in Indianapolis, this run of headlining dates should be all the more of a success. These shows run into October and I can’t help but wonder if they might be headed back to Europe early next year sometime, either for a winter tour or maybe Spring fests? They seem to get around so much these days it’s hard to keep track of where they’ve been and where they’re headed next.

The answer to that question, incidentally, is everywhere.

From the PR wire:

mos generator tour

MOS GENERATOR: Heavy Rock Power Trio Confirms US/Canadian Headlining Tour In Support Of Shadowlands Full-Length

Washington-based power trio MOS GENERATOR will bring their heavy riffing to stages this fall on a US/Canadian headlining tour. Set to commence September 21st in Port Angeles, Washington and run through nearly two-dozen venues upon its conclusion October 13th in Portland, Oregon, the journey includes stops at Descendants Of Crom Fest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as well as Doomed & Stoned Fest in Indianapolis, Indiana. The latest tour follows the band’s month-long US trek earlier this year which included sixteen dates supporting Fu Manchu as well as an appearance at the 2018 edition of Hellfest in Clisson, France. See all confirmed dates below.

Comments MOS GENERATOR founding guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed, “This will be our first time out on the road with the new album Shadowlands at the merch table. We were hoping to have them on the Road Rats tour with Fu Manchu in May but that didn’t happen, so we’ll make it up to you here and make sure to bring plenty. We will be playing a large majority of the new material as well and that’s a treat for us. This is also our first tour across Canada. There are some hard drives, but we are excited to get to those territories.

MOS GENERATOR released their Shadowlands full-length in North America earlier this year via Listenable Records. Shadowlands was recorded in three sessions – June 2017, November 2017 and January 2018 – at the HeavyHead Recording Company in Port Orchard, Washington and comes swathed in the cover art of Adam Burke (Pilgrim, Satan’s Satyrs, Hooded Menace, Artificial Brain et al).

Find physical ordering info at THIS LOCATION. For digital orders go HERE.

MOS GENERATOR – Tour Of The Shadowlands 2018:
9/21/2018 Little Devil’s Lunchbox – Port Angeles, WA
9/22/2018 Bremerton Raceway – Bremerton, WA
9/23/2018 The Shakedown – Bellingham, WA
9/24/2018 The Palomino – Calgary, AB
9/25/2018 Bulldog Pizza – Winnipeg, MB
9/27/2018 Coalition – Toronto, ON
9/28/2018 House Of Targ – Ottawa, ON
9/29/2018 Descendants Of Crom Fest – Pittsburgh, PA
10/01/2018 Bugjar – Rochester, NY
10/02/2018 Pauly’s Hotel – Albany, NY
10/03/2018 Soliday’s – Niagara Falls, NY
10/04/2018 The Sanctuary – Detroit, MI
10/05/2018 Doomed & Stoned Fest – Indianapolis, IN
10/06/2018 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
10/07/2018 Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
10/09/2018 Streets Of London – Denver, CO
10/11/2018 Press Club – Sacramento, CA
10/12/2018 The Alibi – Arcata, CA
10/13/2018 High Water Mark – Portland, OR

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Mos Generator, Shadowlands (2018)

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Friday Full-Length: Stone Axe, I

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 20th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Those who cite retro heavy rock as a European-only phenomenon have obviously never dug into Stone Axe‘s 2009 debut, Stone Axe I. The album, with its striking, vinyl-ready cover art and 10-track/38-minute run, was created with the express mission of paying homage to heavy ’70s rock and roll. And that’s precisely what it did, capturing the warmth of production and a live-in-the-studio feel that remains one of the best American executions of the style regardless of the band’s seemingly permanent dissolution. With the hooks of songs like “Black Widow,” opener “Riders of the Night,” “The Skylah Rae” and “There’d Be Days,” Stone Axe proffered memorable craft the whole time through, keeping a mellow groove beneath even its most active moments despite changes in instrumentation and mood. Live, the band included the rhythm section of bassist Mike DuPont and drummer Mykey Haslip, but in the studio it was just vocalist Dru Brinkerhoff and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Tony Reed.

If the latter name is familiar, it should be. Reed partnered with Brinkerhoff and launched Stone Axe after putting his prior outfit, Mos Generator, to rest in indefinite-hiatus style following 2007’s Songs for Future Gods, which, like Stone Axe I, was released through Roadburn Records. Mos Generator‘s own classic heavy rock influence was one thing, but Stone Axe brought it to another level entirely. Listening to the Led Zeppelin-style blast of “Sky is Falling” and the telltale Thin Lizzy bounce of the subsequent “There’d Be Days” — as well as that in closer “Taking Me Home” — Stone Axe did nothing to mask the direct lines they drew to titans of ’70s heavy, in the Mellotron finish of “My Darkest Days” and the infuriatingly catchy blues rocker “Black Widow,” the band evoked a sense of melancholy beneath a harder-driving atmosphere, but the album never lost its sense of class either in theme or delivery. “The Skylah Rae” told a tale of humans leaving Earth on a giant ship that shared its name with the title, and side B brought about some considerable turns in momentum, whether it was the boogie of “Rhinoceros” or the swagger of “Diamonds and Fools.” Penultimate groover “Return of the Worm” brought a perfectly-paced rhythmic nod to bear and topped it with Brinkerhoff‘s boozy vocals, which were no less classic than any other element put to use, be it instrument or production. The dude absolutely killed on vocals. Just nailed it.

And in many ways, it’s the Brinkerhoff/Reed partnership that’s essential to understand when it comes to Stone Axe. stone axe iConsider that, at that point, Reed was coming off playing guitar and handling vocals in Mos Generator, and that he was also prone to not only recording the band’s albums but releasing them as well. I don’t know who penned the lyrics for Stone Axe, but even if he did, for Reed to step out of the frontman position and relinquish that to anyone else must have been a significant sacrifice for a band that was still ostensibly his as he was writing the songs and playing guitar, bass, drums and whatever else. Stone Axe was a significant turn away from Mos Generator precisely because Reed brought Brinkerhoff on board as the vocalist in order to better capture that classic rock feel, which, again Brinkerhoff‘s voice seemed to be made to bring to life.

And speaking of life, how about those live-recorded tracks on Stone Axe I, huh? Well, no. It would’ve been impossible with just Reed handling all the instruments. Natural sounding cuts like “My Darkest Days” and “Diamonds and Fools,” that easy groove in “Black Widow” and “The Skylah Rae” would’ve had to have been tracked one instrument at a time — probably the drums first, then bass, guitar and whatever keys after. Then Brinkerhoff would be able to sing over the final tracks. Yet Stone Axe I in no way sounds pieced together in this way. It sounds like players in a room hashing it out. Stone Axe I did a better job capturing a live feel than a lot of albums that are recorded live, and it’s a credit to Reed as a producer that that was the case. The material lends itself to an organic vibe, to be sure, but it would’ve been easy for the songs to come out staid and lifeless, and they’re anything but.

Like its 2010 follow-up, Stone Axe II (review here), Stone Axe I was reissued via Ripple Music after Reed signed with the label in 2010. I got to write the liner notes for the second record. A slew of releases were hinted at in that announcement, including a third full-length — which at one point they even started writing — but the band’s last studio outing would be a split with Germany’s Wight on Fat & Holy Records in 2012, the same year Ripple put out both Stone Axe‘s Captured Live! Roadburn Festival 2011 and Mos Generator‘s return long-player, Nomads (review here), the success of which effectively relaunched that band, which would go on to revamp its lineup and become the full-time touring act they remain until now. In the meantime, Reed channeled his love of classic heavy into a solo covers release called The Lost Chronicles of Heavy Rock, Vol. 1 in 2015, which he’s newly pressed onto CD ahead of a quick run of Midwestern Mos Generator shows next month that will take them to the Stoned Meadow of Doom festival.

Though a third Stone Axe album would never manifest, it’s somehow all the more fitting that, like so much of the ’70s heavy rock movement that inspired them it would be somewhat cut short only to have the two albums go on to become cult classics as they have and no doubt will continue to do. Would I ever say never on a Stone Axe resurgence? Never. But with Mos Generator topping tour bills and playing gigs like the Main Stage at Hellfest in France, one could hardly argue Reed‘s time continues to be anything other than well spent. Stone Axe was what it was, and I’m glad there are the records to document that, because it’s worth preserving.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Goodness gracious. Was it enough week for you? It was definitely enough for me. I feel like my head’s still spinning from the Quarterly Review. I have a ritual I undertake every time I finish one of those where I clear the folders off my desktop — they go in my Albums folder — and delete the header because I’m not going to use it again, and I don’t even think I have the energy to do it. Maybe tomorrow, though probably not.

My plan for tonight is to go see Sasquatch at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. I’m hemming and hawing and of course everything depends on the baby, so we’ll see. If I leave at seven I’ll get to Brooklyn by 9, blah blah blah. I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can get my ass out of the house. Tomorrow morning it’s a drive north to Connecticut and then seeing Backwoods Payback in New London. Then Sunday it’s back to New York for Bible of the Devil. As of right now I want to hit all three shows. Next weekend I want to do the same thing. Three shows, three nights in a row, and then that’s probably my quota for the rest of the year, surprise YOB gigs if there are any and Psycho Las Vegas notwithstanding.

Depending on what I actually get to — this is an ambitious plan, I recognize — is the schedule for next week, but here’s the notes as they stand now:

Mon.: Sasquatch live review/Arcadian Child premiere.
Tue.: Backwoods Payback live review; CB3 video premiere.
Wed.: Bible of the Devil live review; Lurk track premiere.
Thu.: Sergio Ch. video premiere.
Fri. Forming the Void premiere/review.

That’s a lot of live reviews for one week. Feels like even more coming off a Quarterly Review. But again, I’m going to try. If it doesn’t pan out, there are always plenty of albums to be written up.

Thanks for reading this week if you did, and either way, please have a great and safe weekend. Maybe I’ll see you at a show. I hope so.

All the best. Forum and Radio.

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Review & Full Album Stream: Mos Generator, Shadowlands

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mos generator shadowlands

[Click play above to stream Shadowlands by Mos Generator in its entirety. Album is out May 18 on Listenable Records and available to preorder here.]

Shadowlands, as a title and with its gorgeous single-knight-holding-a-lance-aloft-at-a-giant-dragon Adam Burke cover art, make an easy read as a metaphor for depression. Indeed, Mos Generator‘s latest full-length — their seventh or eighth, depending on what you count amid their complex discography of compilations, live records, studio LPs, splits and so on — opens with its title-track and seems immediately to touch on the issue in lines like, “Stranded in dark corners/Trapped by gods of suicide,” and “These shadows grow so tall/Will I ever find my way?,” and yet it’s important to note that whatever Mos Generator and its founding guitarist, vocalist, main songwriter, recording engineer and perceived auteur “Mastered by” Tony Reed might be working through or working out in the lyrics and songwriting itself, Shadowlands remains a pointedly upbeat album.

Its title-track does likewise, with the group’s trademark ’70s-via’90s shuffle brought to bear with an easy fluidity thanks to the rhythm section of bassist Sean Booth and drummer Jono Garrett, who came aboard prior to the band’s last album, Abyssinia (review here), in plenty of time to develop tour-born power trio chemistry with Reed at the helm of the group. Shadowlands, the eight tracks of which make an readily apparent vinyl break with four on each side and each side ending with a seven-minute-and-20-someodd-seconds cut after one three-minute song and two four-and-a half-minute songs — because symmetry! because structure! — is the fourth Mos Generator long-player (their third for Listenable Records) since the band made their return with 2012’s Nomads (review here) and were picked up by Listenable for Electric Mountain Majesty (review here) two years later, and with the significant road-time they’ve put in over the better part of the last half-decade (they’re on tour with Fu Manchu as I write this; dates here), they sound incredibly tight and ready to take on the stylistic turns these songs present.

Don’t get scared, but yes, Mos Generator are branching out. Their foundation, as ever, is in unfuckwithable songcraft and airlock-style performances from ReedBooth and Garrett that are nonetheless believable as a live sound. Cuts like “The Destroyer,” the rolling ’70s nod of the penultimate “Woman Song,” the opener and “Drowning in Your Loving Cup” — let alone the infectious-as-plague insistent hook of side B opener “Gamma Hydra” — are memorable standouts as Mos Generator seem remarkably to provide each time out in abundant fashion. Abyssinia, with Reed on keys in an ending section that pushed them further into classically progressive territory than ever before, is answered in the guitar work of each side’s finale here: “Stolen Ages” and “The Wind and Gentle Dogs,” as well as the tense intricacy of the almost post-punk “The Blasting Concept,” which works into and through a linear build en route to the more fluid groove of “Woman Song.”

“Gamma Hydra,” at 3:24 with its insistent but catchy verse riff, is both the shortest track on Shadowlands and a ready standout from its surroundings, but it’s for the longer-form material that Mos Generator save truly showcasing their classic progressive side on the extended cuts. The first of them, “Stolen Ages,” begins like an Endless Boogie jam before shifting into quiet guitar noodling and reemerging with at about 2:50 with chunkier riffing, leading into the push of the verse and a chorus marked out by airy guitar notes overlaid. The standout lyric comes as “Some dreams are over,” and that last line brings side A to a finish ahead of “Gamma Hydra.”

mos generator

Likewise, closer “The Wild and Gentle Dogs” brings in acoustics at the start and shifts into a more foreboding feel thereafter on a long instrumental build rife with sonic detailing headed to the noise wash that caps the album. These songs both represent relatively new ground for Mos Generator, who over the last several years have shown a burgeoning affinity for more progressive influences. The ending section of Abyssinia certainly played to this, as did their live-recorded 2016 outing, The Firmament (review here), but even in the more straightforward material, these ideas seem more ingrained throughout Shadowlands. Once more, I’ll go back to the maddeningly catchy “Gamma Hydra” at the start of side B.

Not only are its rhythmic turns complicated and its shifting lyrical semi-repetitions a challenge all their own, but even on a conceptual level — if “Shadowlands” at the beginning of the album is depression, then surely “Gamma Hydra” is the accompanying mania. As much as Mos Generator have made their reputation on high-energy live performances and records of excellently composed, pure heavy rock and roll — which, by the way, Shadowlands still is — the band are clearly reaching for new sonic ground in this material. That they would be perhaps even more interested than ever in growth at nearly 20 years into their tenure is impressive enough — though admittedly, the Reed/Booth/Garrett incarnation of the band hasn’t been together nearly that long — but that they’d be able to bring these ideas forward without giving up the sense of groove, or the penchant for hooks, or the sheer command of their sound that they’ve been able to harness makes them all the more a special band.

From the hard-driving opening salvo of “Shadowlands,” “The Destroyer” and “Drowning in Your Loving Cup” down through the frenetic payoff of “The Wild & Gentle Dogs,” Mos Generator prove once again to be a group unto themselves in the quality of their work and the clearheadedness with which they execute their creative will. They’ve made huge strides the last several years to become  heavy-rock-household name, and they’ve been to a large degree successful through constant road-dogging and a steady string of excellent releases, but as a fan of the band and of Reed‘s work in general, it’s hard not to still think of them as being underrated and to imagine that, as they embark on these new stylistic pursuits, their not only keep their loyal listenership with them for the journey, but be able to reach outside and turn new heads as well. At least that seems to be the idea, and Shadowlands makes it sound easily possible.

Mos Generator on Thee Facebooks

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Mos Generator at Listenable Records

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Mos Generator Set May 18 Release for Shadowlands; Album Details Announced; Touring in April & May

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

So anyway, yes, I’ve already put Adam Burke‘s cover for the new Mos Generator record, Shadowlands, on my list of 2018’s best artwork. It’s got a spot. I pretty much reserve a place for Burke on that list anyway, since he seems to so constantly feature there. Sure enough, his piece for Shadowlands looks like a D&D poster I’d want to hang on my bedroom wall — I was going to say “as a kid,” but screw it, I’d hang that shit now. Look at it. It’s awesome.

And though this is usually the part where I’d pretend I haven’t yet heard Shadowlands itself, that’s awesome too. Mos Generator being Mos Generator, delivering uncompromised heavy rock with a classic edge, progressive flourish, and songwriting to stand up to any you might put next to it. That’s who they are. That’s what they do.

Well, that and touring anyway. They head out with Fu Manchu in May and have some headlining shows before. The PR wire tells all:

mos generator shadowlands

MOS GENERATOR: Washington Heavy Rock Trio To Release Shadowlands Full-Length Via Listenable Records This May; Live Dates With Fu Manchu Confirmed

Long-running Washington-based heavy rock trio MOS GENERATOR will release a new full-length this May via Listenable Records. Titled Shadowlands, the eight-track studio offering was recorded in three sessions — June 2017, November 2017, and January 2018 — at the HeavyHead Recording Company in Port Orchard, Washington and comes swathed in the cover art of Adam Burke [Pilgrim, Satan’s Satyrs, Hooded Menace, Artificial Brain et al].

“Right from the opening song, Shadowlands is a record that, to me, feels more honest than our previous releases,” relays founding guitarist/vocalist/principal songwriter Tony Reed. “On this record, I introduce many other styles that I enjoy but they are intertwined so subtly that it doesn’t interrupt the classic MOS GENERATOR sound. That is a balance I’ve been looking for over the last few albums and I think the presence of [drummer] Jon Garrett and [bassist] Sean Booth have a lot to do with achieving that balance. It’s a heavy rock record that breaths and if I had to describe it further I would say it mixes ’70s style heavy rock, progressive rock, and also has some weird ’80s and ’90s underground rock nuances.”

Shadowlands will see release via Listenable Records in Europe on May 11th followed by a US street date of May 18th with preorder info to be announced in the coming weeks.

Shadowlands Track Listing:
1. Shadowlands
2. The Destroyer
3. Drowning In Your Loving Cup
4. Stolen Ages
5. Gamma Hydra
6. The Blasting Concept
7. Woman Song
8. The Wild & Gentle Dogs

In advance of the release of Shadowlands, MOS GENERATOR will take on a month-long, cross country US tour. Set to commence on April 20th, the Road Rats Tour 2018 will run through May 26th and includes sixteen dates supporting Fu Manchu! See all confirmed shows below.

MOS GENERATOR:
4/20/2018 Hogfish – Couer d’Alene, ID
4/21/2018 Rocky Mountain Riff Fest – Kalispell, MT
4/25/2018 The Valley – Tacoma, WA
4/26/2018 The Haul – Grants Pass, OR
4/27/2018 Thee Parkside – San Francisco, CA
4/28/2018 Dive Bar – Las Vegas, NV
4/29/2018 Alex’s Bar – Long Beach, CA
4/30/2018 The Kraken – Cardiff, CA
w/ Fu Manchu:
5/01/2018 Rebel Lounge – Phoenix, AZ
5/03/2018 Curtain Club – Dallas, TX
5/04/2018 Barracuda – Austin, TX
5/05/2018 White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX
5/07/2018 Vinyl – Atlanta, GA
5/08/2018 Kings – Raleigh, NC
5/09/2018 Rock & Roll Hotel – Washington, DC
5/10/2018 Brillobox – Pittsburgh, PA *
5/11/2018 Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA
5/12/2018 Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
5/13/2018 Brighton Music Hall – Allston, MA
5/14/2018 Mohawk Place – Buffalo, NY *
5/15/2018 Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH
5/16/2018 Ace Of Cups – Columbus, OH
5/17/2018 El Club – Detroit, MI
5/18/2018 The Baby G – Toronto, ON *
5/19/2018 Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
5/20/2018 Total Drag Records – Sioux Falls, SD *
5/22/2018 Streets of London Pub – Denver, CO
5/23/2018 Streets of London Pub – Denver, CO
5/25/2018 Substation – Seattle, WA*
5/26/2018 The Manette – Bremerton, WA *
** MOS GENERATOR only

https://mosgenerator.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
http://heavyheadsuperstore.storenvy.com/
http://www.shop-listenable.net/fr/47_mos-generator

Mos Generator, Live in Glasgow, Scotland, Oct. 3, 2017

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Mos Generator Announce US Tour with Fu Manchu; New Album Update

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

mos generator

After hitting the road together last Fall, SoCal fuzz lords Fu Manchu and Port Orchard, Washington, heavy rock specialists Mos Generator are teaming up once again, this time to crisscross the entire country in Spring. Mos Generator will begin the run a few days early and include a stop at Rocky Mountain Riff Fest on April 21, and then it’s down the Pacific Coast, across the South, up to the Northeast and back through the Midwest to finish in their native Washington. Well, you knew they’d be up to plenty this year.

Back in October, founding Mos Generator guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed talked about the recording plans for the band’s next album for Listenable RecordsShadowlands. In addition to putting together the massive swath of live appearances, it seems progress has been continuing on that front as well. Below, Reed gives an update on where they’re at with the record and more.

Dig it:

mos generator fu manchu tour

2018 is already shaping up to be a great year for us. We just got done with the final writing / recording sessions for our next album “Shadowlands” and I’m in the process of sorting through the material and deciding what will be included on the album. We had the whole record in order last year and then we went out on the road for 7 weeks and decided we needed to re evaluate the kind of record we were making.

We ended up with something that had more energy than the initial tracks we thought would make up the album. It is also a more diverse album than I had envisioned. I think is due to the presence of Jono & Sean. This is the first album where it is just the three of us.

On Abyssinia, most of the songs were already written when they joined and half the songs either had me or original drummer shawn Johnson on drums. As it’s looking now I would say “Shadowlands” is a Heavy / Pop / Prog album. I’ve seemed to come to grips with my 22 year old self as well and I’m letting in songwriting styles that I have kept at bay for many years. It’s exciting.

Along with record making, we have been once again blessed in the touring department. We had a great time on the west coast with Fu Manchu last November and now we get to do an extended U.S. run with them, including many cities we’ve never been to. After that we are off tour Europe (details are in the works) and then back to the states for some shows in the fall including the Descendants of Crom and Doomed & Stoned festivals. There are still some cool announcements coming and more free music that we will be posting soon.

4/20 – Couer d’Alene ID – Hogfish
4/21 – Kalispell MT – Rocky Mountain Riff Fest
4/25 – Tacoma WA – The Valley
4/26 – Grants Pass OR – The Haul
4/27 – San Francisco CA – Thee Parkside
4/28 – Las Vegas NV – Dive Bar
4/29 – Long Beach CA – Alex’s Bar

On Tour with FU MANCHU*
5/01 – Phoenix AZ – Rebel Lounge*
5/02 – Albuquerque – NM
5/03 – Dallas TX – Curtain Club*
5/04 – Austin TX – Barracuda*
5/05 – Houston TX – White Oak Music Hall*
5/07 – Atlanta GA – Vinyl*
5/08 – Raleigh NC – Kings*
5/09 – Washington DC – Rock & Roll Hotel*
5/10 – Pittsburgh PA – Brillobox
5/11 – Philadelphia PA – Underground Arts*
5/12 – New York – Bowery Ballroom*
5/13 – Boston MA – Brighton Music Hall*
5/14 – Buffalo NY – Mohawk Place
5/15 – Cleveland OH – Grog Shop*
5/16 – Columbus OH – Ace of Cups*
5/17 – Detroit MI – El Club*
5/18 – Toronto ON – The Baby G
5/19 – Chicago IL – Bottom Lounge*
5/20 – Sioux Falls SD – Total Drag Records
5/22 – Denver CO – Streets of London Pub*
5/23 – Denver CO – Streets of London Pub*
5/25 – Seattle WA – Substation
5/26 – Bremerton WA – The Manette

Mos Generator is:
Tony Reed: Guitar and Mellotron
Jono Garrett: Drums
Sean Booth: Bass

https://mosgenerator.bandcamp.com/track/the-dance-of-red-a-the-dance-of-maya-b-red
https://www.facebook.com/MosGenerator
http://heavyheadsuperstore.storenvy.com/
http://www.shop-listenable.net/fr/47_mos-generator

Mos Generator, The Dance of Red (2017)

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